But that's just at first glance. Once you know someone, you don't just see them; you feel when you look into a familiar face. Where you might have registered crooked teeth as an impartial observer, you see just the beautiful smile of a friend you've missed. Where you might have seen a man whose hair thins at the edges of his temples, you see the lover whose warm eyes have always made you feel like a goddess. We re-make the people we love - and the ones we hate - in our mind's eye.
I find that fascinating, and it's a concept I love to play with in my writing where I can. What you see in the mirror is not the same thing your best friend, mother, spouse or random gas station attendant is seeing, and if they were describing you in their voice, each description would come out very differently. I don't like to describe characters directly; when possible, I like to give hints of description from the different POV's.
There's a part of me, too, that has a bit of an agenda. I hope that seeing a character from different perspectives will help free young women from the idea that there's The One Right Way To Look. My MCs are always going to be beautiful to me - they're old friends by the time I finish writing a novel. But that doesn't mean that every one of them would be a good candidate for a modeling or acting career. When it fits with the story, I want to write characters who have some "flaws" the reader can recognize, but still see them as beautiful. I hope that will help people fall in love with the "flaws" that beauty magazines re-assure us we all have! :)
For more on my perspective of beauty, check out the post on jolie laide on La Dolce Vita, La Vita Dura. But more importantly, tell me about your MC's - how do they look?